Once again, The Arc will be an active member of the Care Campaign.
The Care Campaign is a coalition of State Associations, Service Providers, Direct Care Professionals, Families, Self Advocates and the Union. The goal of
Care Campaign is to increase average hourly wages for Direct Service
Professionals over a three year period. Last year, you will recall we introduced
legislation to increase wages and held Senate Hearing on that increase for Direct
This week, the Campaign sent a letter to Governor Quinn asking him to proclaim the
week of September 8-14, 2013 as Direct Support Professional Recognition Week in
Illinois. We encourage you to recognize your Direct Support Professional’s that week
to generate knowledge of their important work with the public and public officials.
Rebalancing the Disability System will continue, people will move off the PUNS Waiting
List and Murray Developmental Center will close. We need to increases wages for Direct
Support Professionals to support these important initiatives here in Illinois. The Care
takes us there, “Caring for those who care.”
Here is the letter to Governor Quinn.
The Honorable Pat Quinn
Springfield, IL 62706
We the undersigned members of the Care Campaign encourage you to continue your tradition of acknowledging the important work of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) by issuing a proclamation declaring the week of September 8 – 14, 2013 as Direct Support Professional Recognition Week in Illinois.
The Care Campaign is comprised of DSPs working in community-based provider settings,
persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities, parents and family members, unions,
community-based providers and associations that represent them working together to build
support for increasing the average hourly wage for DSPs working in community-based settings.
In May, at the request of Care Campaign members, both the Senate and House Human
Service Committees held Subject Matter hearings drawing the attention of the General
Assembly to the difficult and important work performed every day by DSPs, who on average
make only $9.35/hr due to inadequate reimbursement rates paid to community based providers.
Since 2010 you’ve issued annual proclamations highlighting the importance of DSPs to the
citizens of Illinois. Last year, you personally congratulated the five Direct Support Professional
Class of 2012 award recipients at IARF’s Annual Conference. Clearly, you recognize the value
of the important work that DSPs perform in support of children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families. Knowing the low average hourly wages
DSPs are paid, we ask you lead us in our efforts to right this wrong.
By issuing the draft proclamation included with this letter you have an opportunity to emphasize your commitment to community living by standing with the Care Campaign in supporting an increase in the average hourly wage for DSPs working in community based settings. Should you issue this proclamation, we would have an opportunity over the coming weeks to work with your staff to coordinate DSP recognition activities throughout Illinois.
As Governor, you have made a commitment to community care and have increased access to community-based services and supports for children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Adequate wages for DSPs are necessary for high quality community based services. Issuing a proclamation that not only recognizes DSPs for the important work they do, but shows your commitment to increase the average hourly wages would leave no doubt in the minds of the 40,000 DSPs across Illinois that you respect and value their work.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423